COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — From Reminderville and Knockemstiff to Put-in-Bay and Celeryville, Ohio is home to a number of cities and towns with head-scratching names.
Some of the oddest Ohio towns have connections to Ohio State University and movies. Here are five Ohio cities and the stories behind their names.
South of Willard in Huron County, Celeryville is known for being an agricultural town with rich soil. The land was settled in the late 1800s by Dutch farmers, known for their remarkable celery farms. The town claims farmers are able to grow vegetables much faster than other areas. Ohio State has established an agricultural research station near Celeryville.
Located in Ross County southwest of Chillicothe, Knockemstiff is known for being the home of Donald Ray Pollock, the author of “The Devil All The Time.” Published in 2011, the book follows a series of characters during post-World War II in southern Ohio and West Virginia and was made into a movie starring Tom Holland in 2020. There are a few stories that claim to explain the town’s name, this first involving a fight that broke out between members when the community was just being established. A second legend says a woman confronted the local priest during a Sunday service, claiming that her husband was cheating on her. She asked the priest for advice. His response: “Knock’ em stiff.”
Accessible only by ferry on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, Put-in-Bay is known for its entertainment scene. Legend says the town was named by its first settlers who used the island for shelter when stormy weather rolled in. Boaters would “put it in the bay” when the weather was bad.
North of Akron in Summit County, Reminderville originated in the 1940s when the town was only accessible by a single dirt road. Due to the isolation, only a number of families called the town home, many bearing the surname Reminder. At first, Reminderville was used as a nickname for the town. In 1955, it was officially named Reminderville and the town’s first mayor was installed, Clement Reminder.
On the Tuscarawas River in Tuscarawas County, Gnadenhutten dates back to 1772 when Moravian missionaries founded a mission named Schoenbrunn, meaning “beautiful spring” in German. Because of its success, they founded a second village the same year named Gnadenhutten, meaning “tents of grace” in German.